Adventure News

July 2011



Reef Entertainment to publish So Blonde spin-off adventure for PC, Wii, DS and PS3

Step aside Guybrush Threepwood! There's a new pirate in town, and her name is Morgane Castillo, who's set to star in her own comic adventure later this year in Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle.

This won't be the first time we've met Morgane, as the new game from Wizarbox is a spin-off of So Blonde, in which the feisty captain made her swashbuckling debut. Here the daughter of an infamous pirate becomes the headliner of her own 17th century "journey from playful girl to becoming the Caribbean’s first fearsome female pirate captain." Following the trail of adventurer Buckleberry Tanner, which she hopes will lead to the hidden treasures of Turtle Island, Morgane must also contend with Hilary Simpkins, a villain also reprising his role from So Blonde.




Written by Steve Ince, Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle promises five different tropical islands with over 50 high definition illustrated locations to explore. It will also be available on a number of platforms, as the game is currently in production for PC, Wii, DS, and the PlayStation 3. Though the game is a point-and-click adventure, particular attention will be given to the PlaySation Move and Nintendo motion controllers to utilize the unique features of those consoles.

While no firm release date has yet been announced, the game will be published by Reef Entertainment in the UK, and is currently on pace for release sometime in the fourth quarter of this year.



Infocom-inspired audience participation play performing through July 30th

If the thought of a New York stage production about adventure games might make your head explode, you'll fit right in at Brooklyn's Brick Theater for Sneaky Snake Productions' BrainExplode!

The creators of Adventure Quest are back at it again, this time with a new play set in 1987 and starring Ray Pinter, a fictional game designer loosely modeled on Infocom's implementors. Unfortunately for Ray, his brain is going to explode in 60 minutes, so time is short as he "confronts futuristic technology, supernatural antagonists, and his own personal demons." But he's not alone. Like any good piece of interactive fiction, the audience is also a participant here, with "select audience members giving the protagonist commands and helping him to navigate the world of the play."


BrainExplode! is running for a limited time, ending Saturday, July 30th. Tickets are available for $15, and can be ordered online from the theater's website. To be considered for one of the participatory roles, you'll need to arrive no later than ten minutes before the show begins.

Photograph by Kimberly Craven



New BBC-produced episode The Gunpowder Plot coming in October

Doctor Who is returning with a bang this fall – quite literally, as the BBC has just announced the next episode in its interactive Adventure Games series will be called The Gunpowder Plot and is due in October.

Loosely based on the famed 1605 conspiracy to destroy London's House of Lords, the new game will offer not only an insight into this "incendiary moment in Britain's history", but also the chance to battle extra-terrestrial monsters (this is Doctor Who, after all). Returning from last season are the Doctor and Amy, once again performed by television actors Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. This time they'll be joined by Rory Williams, played by Arthur Darvill, and two as-yet-unrevealed familiar enemies.

The Gunpowder Plot was written by series veteran Phil Ford, and promises to be the most advanced interactive episode to date, allowing players to control all three main characters in a "multi-linear" environment with more sophisticated puzzles to solve along the way.

As with last season's Adventure Games, The Gunpowder Plot will be available free to UK residents from the Doctor Who website, where you can still download the four original episodes. There is currently no word on pricing or availability outside the UK.



First episode of three-part sci-fi indie adventure due in August

If you can't afford a real summer getaway this year, instead you can virtually travel on a budget to a totally alien planet in the upcoming point-and-click sci-fi adventure, Eko: Strange New World.

This three-part adventure series from small Australian developer SIN ARS STUDIOS, Eko follows the continuous story of the titular character, an alien mechanic who is "unexpectedly shot in to space while repairing a ship. Crash landing on a strange and unfamiliar planet, he must explore this unknown territory and solve a range of puzzles with the aim of repairing his ship and returning home."


The first screenshots of the game show off its simple but distinctive 2D art style, representing just some of the game's diverse locations, which promise to range from "forests to bars, alleyways and underground bases".

Eko: Strange New World is currently on track for downloadable release some time in August, though no firm release details have yet been announced.



Two trailers herald developer's announcement to self-publish long-awaited fantasy adventure

If you dare to believe it at this point, there's new hope to finally see The Book of Unwritten Tales this fall, as the developers have announced plans to distribute the game themselves.

One of the most acclaimed German adventures in recent years, the game's international release has met with one disaster after another to date. Following the bankruptcy of the original German publisher, The Adventure Company eventually followed suit after numerous delays of the announced English-launguage version. Now, however, KING Art is assuming control of the game's release itself, promising a "new and improved" version with full English voice acting.

As the game's two new trailers suggest, The Book of Unwritten Tales is a "humorous homage to the RPG and fantasy genre". Set in a wartorn land, an elderly gremlin archeologist named Mortimer MacGuffin possesses the dark secrets of an artifact so powerful that it controls the fate of the world. But while the "Army of the Shadows sends out its best and most devious agents to discover the secret", the Alliance gets Wilbur the gnome, Ivo the elf princess, a human adventure named Nate, and Critter, a shaggy purple creature that refuses to leave Nate's side. Together this unlikely foursome are reluctantly drawn into a crisis that can only be solved by working together as a team.

There have been no firm details revealed about the game's launch date, pricing, or delivery method, but we'll update the news with new information as it becomes available. In the meantime, be sure to check out the official Book of Unwritten Tales website.

Update: KING Art has confirmed that both a boxed version through regular retail channels in some territories and a worldwide self-published downloadable version of the game will be available. The developers also possess the international distribution rights to the prequel currently in development, The Critter Chronicles, and plan to distribute that game sometime in 2012 if all goes well with the original game.



Five Magical Amulets re-released on iOS; indie developer announces new comic adventure

It may not be the sequel that fans have been waiting for, but the indie Czech developers of the acclaimed freeware adventure Five Magical Amulets have just announced a new commercial project in production, Helga Deep in Trouble.

The new game is a sequel, in fact, but to the 2006 short parody game Five Lethal Demons. In this light-hearted comedy, the titular (anti-)heroine returns in her own full-length game. Helga is the "despotic leader" of her own small game development studio, but when she loses her company, she attempts to "start a new studio and convince her former employees to join her again. And it's not going to be easy, considering Helga's reputation."

Helga Deep in Trouble is in developement for both PC and iOS, and though no firm release date has yet been announced, the developers are targeting a release sometime later this year. The game will launch on the App Store for iOS and through the Off Studio website for PC.

In the meantime, Five Magical Amulets is making news of its own, as the game has now been re-released for the iPad, iPhone, and iPad Touch for $3.99 at the App Store. For the full scoop on that game, be sure to check out our review of the PC original.



Demo available for the first of four parts of haunting free-roaming mystery

From the twisted minds of the aptly-named Twistedmind Studios (update: now DreamCraft Entertainment, which is far less twisted) comes word of a new episodic indie adventure, with a trailer and playable demo already available for their haunting upcoming mystery, Dark Secrets.

Dark Secrets is a planned four-part series casting players in the role of Arthur, a man who returns to his Scandinavian childhood village following the death of his father. The quaint town seems idyllic on the surface, and Arthur has inherited the family antique shop, but soon after his arrival he realizes that he's entered a world "filled with mysteries and danger. In the end, what secrets will he uncover about the village, the people that he meets and about himself? Are there secrets that are best left untouched? And can one hope to escape the sins of the father?"

The trailer for Dark Secrets shows some of the town's scenic environments in all their free-roaming, first-person glory, and hints at some of the more ominous elements awaiting players once its mysteries are uncovered. For an even more up-close-and-personal experience, you can download a 162 MB demo of the game from the official website, which lets you wander an eerie nighttime forest, both above and below ground.

While no firm release date has yet been announced, the developers are currently targeting a downloadable release of the first episode this summer through major digital distribution portals.



New IF offering from Malinche stars one of four detectives and random starting point

Crime novels are a regular staple for book lovers, but if you're looking for an interactive crime novel, look no further than today's release of Four Badges.

The newest text adventure from Malinche casts players as one of four possible detectives, beginning at a randomly chosen starting point with just one of four key pieces of evidence. In the quiet New Jersey suburb of Merridoc, two prominent members of the community were murdered in the night, and you learn of a third just after reporting for work the next morning. It's clear "you've got a serial killer tearing through town and who knows how much time to stop him before his next victim falls..." This won't be an open-and-shut case, however, as there are over a dozen different potential endings.

Four Badges reportedly works on all versions of both Windows and Mac OS X, and is compatible with Linux, Unix, the entire Palm family, Windows Mobile devices, most smartphones including Blackberry and iPhone, as well as the iPod Touch and iPad. The game is available for download for $29.95 exclusively at the developer's website.



First retail set of enhanced remakes to include never-before-seen bonus content

What's more fun than a barrel of monkeys? Why, it's a boxed set of Monkey Island special editions, coming to the UK this fall.

Originally launched only as downloads, the new-and-debatably-improved release of The Secret of Monkey Island and Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge include both the original classic versions of the games and enhanced versions with updated HD graphics, remastered music, full voiceovers, and a context-sensitive hint system. Better yet, you're able to seamlessly switch between the two at any time at the click of a button. MI2 also includes in-game audio commentary from the game's creators, Ron Gilbert, Tim Schafer, and Dave Grossman.

Not only will the Monkey Island Special Edition Collection represent the first retail versions of the games, it also promises to feature never-before-seen content, including environment and concept art, soundtracks for both games, and storyboards from Industrial Light & Magic for an unreleased Monkey Island animated movie.

Though there is no word of a release in North America at this time, the Monkey Island Special Edition Collection is currently targeting a September 9th release in the UK for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.



Production of new comic adventure announced for Xbox LIVE Indie Games

School may be out for summer, but it's already time to look ahead to Life in the Dorms, a new adventure announced for Xbox LIVE Arcade due later this year.

A comic adventure from indie Australian studio Moment Games, Life in the Dorms casts players in the role of paranoid freshman Dack Peeples in his first few days at college. Dack has to contend with all the usual school activities – you know, "attending orientation, meeting his roommate for the very first time... hunting down serial killers and kidnappers, performing open surgery…and discovering the many surprising uses for ramen noodles."


Although "crafted in the spirit of classic adventure games", Life in the Dorms promises to introduce one unique feature inspired by social media. After getting himself a smart phone, Dack will "be able to 'Flitter' to his followers about his environment, the people around him, and even things in his inventory—in fact, he'll have to, in order to solve many of the game's challenging puzzles."

No firm release date has yet been announced for Life in the Dorms, but it's expected to launch exclusively on the Xbox LIVE Indie Games channel before year end. For more details about the game in the coming months, keep an eye on the official website.



Playable sampler for Daedalic's eco-thriller now available for download

If you want a little glimpse into the future, look no further than the new demo release of A New Beginning, though expect to be both intrigued and horrified by what you see in Daedalic's acclaimed eco-thriller.

In the year 2500, mankind is on the brink of total annihilation due to environmental disaster. The only hope is to send a small team back in time in to prevent the cataclysmic events from ever happening. The first jump to 2050 is already too late, so it's left to a young woman named Fay to return to present day in order to persuade a cynical retired scientist that his research is the key to saving the world. And then the bigger challenge: convincing the world it needs saving while wealthy industrialists fight to interfere.

The demo weighs in at nearly 1 GB, beginning with the prologue and including parts of the opening chapter, introducing the two lead characters, Fay and Bent Svensson. The sampler can be found at the official website.

For more details about A New Beginning, check out our review of the game, which was released in the UK last month.



Telltale's surreal puzzler now available on PC, Mac, and iOS platforms

Even as summer kicks into gear for many of us, it's time to bundle up for a return trip to the frozen, snowy climes of Scoggins, Minnesota, with today's release of Puzzle Agent 2.

Though the FBI's Department of Puzzle Research has closed the case on the town's eraser factory explosion in Puzzle Agent, plant foreman Isaac Davner is still missing, and Special Agent Nelson Tethers can't shake the image of the town's red forest gnomes from his mind. Returning to Scoggins under the pretense of a vacation, Tethers soon learns of more missing person's cases that may just be linked to the mysterious Hidden People. There's only way to get to the bottom of this increasingly bizarre case: solving more puzzles!

Puzzle Agent 2 is available now for both PC and Mac directly from Telltale, or from the App Store for iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad.

For more information about the game, be sure to check out our recent hands-on preview.